Home Science Climate Change New York: The Aging Infrastructure of the World’s Largest Subway

New York: The Aging Infrastructure of the World’s Largest Subway

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Source: Xav Solo

Between overcrowding and aging infrastructure, New York City’s subway system is in need of a major overhaul, requiring billions of dollars in investment to update stations, trains, and routes, as well as combat rat infestations and adapt to climate change.

New Yorkers are suffering fair hikes and more frequent delays & break downs, and yet life goes on. The money required for renovations is as much as $20 billion with state officials weary as funds have often been mismanaged and costs under estimated.

Here’s what you need to know about New York’s aging infrastructure:

  • The aging infrastructure was already terrible. Overcrowding made things much, much worse. 
  • between fare hikes, overcrowding, frequent breakdowns, mechanical failures, signal gaps, janky cars, and rickety tracks, New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority is facing millions of angry riders and a multibillion-dollar repair job that is likely to span decades.
  • Subway delays have more than doubled over a five-year period
  • “The current state of the subway system is unacceptable,” the MTA’s newly reinstated chairman, Joseph Lhota, said in a statement late last month as he outlined an emergency improvement plan.
  • “We must rebuild confidence in the authority with a complete overhaul of the system.”

    MTA said it would need as much as $20 billion for systemwide maintenance and repairs.

  • The average subway car, which breaks down every  400,000 miles, and the newest cars, which break down every 750,000 miles
  • There are more passengers now than there have been since the 1940s.
  • The all-time ridership record was set in 1946, the year 2 billion passengers rode the subway.
  • Ridership exceeded 1.7 billion last year, and broke records set in 1948.
  • These days, overcrowding is the reason for about one-third of the system’s delays any given month, the MTA says.
  • Even when state officials have set aside the necessary money for upgrades, funds haven’t been managed well, and repairs are rarely made on schedule
  • Cost overruns are a big issue on any major infrastructure project, but especially when you’re dealing with an old urban area.
  • “The other factor is there’s no political capital in doing preventative maintenance,” says Andrew Natsios
  • New York mayor, Bill de Blasio, declared war (again) on the city’s rat population, pledging $32 million to kill as many as possible.

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